A Japanese maple with marcescence

Marcescence: When foliage won’t fall

What is marcescence? Well, apart from sounding like the answer to a Jeopardy clue that Alex Trebek might spring on unsuspecting contestants, it’s a botanical term to describe a phenomenon that occurs when a normally deciduous hardwood tree stubbornly retains its dead leaves through winter. It is a fairly obscure word and not exactly something […]

Giant puffball tastes best when fresh

This damp and rainy winter, spring and summer has provided ideal conditions for fungal growth and a real bonanza for wild mushrooms. They seem to be everywhere this year, from a few Dryad’s saddle hanging onto the sides of stressed out trees, to hundreds of tiny Japanese parasols (Parasola plicatilis) making little fungal forests in […]